Third Party Services to Save You Time and Money

While not every website requires all of this functionality, the following tools are integrated into the vast majority. I keep up to date with the latest technologies out there, and change with the times as necessary. I don’t use fly-by-night services which may disappear and am always ready with a solution when my go-tos do.

Here is a brief listing of some of the more robust and popular services which may be integrated into your new website.

a stylized W in a circle, the WordPress Logo

WordPress is without a doubt the world’s greatest open source content management system. Actually, it’s simply the best content management system, period. Control your content, improve your standings with the search engines, be the master of your own website.

MailChimp is a beautiful and easy to use newsletter management system. They take care of subscribers, unsubscribes, templates, and the servers necessary to push email out the door. And it’s free for lists of 2000 people or less, so you can ease into it at no cost. By the time you’ve grown your list large enough to require paying those fine folks, you’ll be so in love with the results you’ll barely even notice.

Google Analytics is a supercomputer’s worth of information (quite literally) about who’s coming to your site, what pages they’re visiting, what technologies they’re using, their geographical location…just so much great info. Measure your success with Adwords and social and all other types of fun stuff. I include it with every single site and can use it down the road to work with you to improve the performance of your content.

screenshot of Google Analytics example
Once you have a website, you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust as necessary if you really want to grow traffic. Google Analytics provides a plethora of information to do just that.

Social Networking is built into every site I create as well, in one way or another. Most sites get the little Twitter and Facebook and usually Google+ links, but every site gets OpenGraph tags built in, so when your content is shared on those networks, it shows up with a fighting chance to rise above the social noise.

screenshot of how you can control content shared on Facebook
You get more control over how your stuff looks when people share it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Make social networks want to show your content!

Woocommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress, and it’s phenomenal. Far surpassing its predecessors, Woo just gets it right. I’ve been using them exclusively for the past couple of years, which is why I’m able to offer e-commerce sites at a fraction of the cost of the bigger agencies.

Stripe is a somewhat newer credit card processing technology, but it’s proven right out of the gate to be the best payment processing solution out there. No hidden fees, just your standard % + a few cents taken from each transaction. Every seven days you get paid directly into your account, no messing around with transfers or withdrawals. And unlike PayPal, they’re built on a solid, well documented API.

screenshot of an example stripe checkout form